Place

Chimney Rock Trailhead at Point Reyes

A trailhead sign next to a gravel path that leads past a wooden info kiosk to green, open grassland.
Chimney Rock offers panoramic views of the ocean. Perfect for whale watching and sunsets.

NPS Photo / A. Kopshever

Quick Facts
Location:
Point Reyes National Seashore's Chimney Rock Trailhead is located at the east end of Chimney Rock Road, Inverness, California. Geographic Coordinates: 37.9952, -122.9800

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Recycling, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles

With equally impressive ocean and Drakes Bay views, Chimney Rock is often overlooked in comparison to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Spring wildflowers are diverse and abundant along the trail. Listen for elephant seals at the isolated colonies below the trail. However, the best place to see them is from the Elephant Seal Overlook. Gray whales can be observed from the point, especially in March and April when cow and calf pairs migrate north from Baja California.

There is evidence of severe landslides half way up the trail. Stay on the designated trail. There is no beach access. 

Suggested Routes From This Trailhead

Walk the Elephant Seal Overlook Trail: 0.5 mi. (800 m) roundtrip, easy
Hike the Chimney Rock Trail: 1.8 miles (2.8 km) roundtrip, easy

App Users: For more information on this specific route, press the "Things to Do" icon on the park's app's homepage and select "Hiking" from the list of activities. Find the option for "Hike the Chimney Rock Trail", or browse routes that begin at the park's other trailheads.

Park Regulations

  • Vehicles over 24 feet (7.3 meters) in length and vehicles pulling trailers with a combined length in excess of 24 feet (7.3 meters) are prohibited on Chimney Rock Road.
  • Take only pictures; leave only footprints: Almost everything one finds at Point Reyes is protected by law, including shells, rocks, fossils, flowers, and artifacts.
  • Please only travel on authorized trails, respect posted signs, and practice Leave No Trace principles when recreating in the park.
  • Check current conditions and trail advisories and closures before your visit.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on the Chimney Rock Trail.
  • Pets are not permitted on the Chimney Rock Trail. Visit our Pets page to learn where pets are permitted at Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Drones are not permitted anywhere in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Chimney Rock Road

Chimney Rock Road is only about ten feet (3 meters) wide, but serves as a two-way road. Please observe the speed limit and look ahead to keep watch for oncoming traffic. If you do notice a vehicle heading your way, pull into the next turnout until the other vehicle has had a chance to pass.

Parking

The Chimney Rock Trailhead is approximately 45 minutes by car from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. The parking lot at the Chimney Rock Trailhead can only accommodate twenty vehicles. Parking space availability is very limited, particularly on weekend afternoons.

Directions to Bear Valley
Directions from Bear Valley to the Chimney Rock Trailhead

Point Reyes National Seashore

Last updated: January 11, 2024